02 June 2015 | Online since 2003



6 August 2014|News,Veterinary News

Skull shape risk factors could help in the welfare of toy dog breeds


New research has identified two significant risk factors associated with painful neurological diseases in the skull shape of the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel (CKCS). The findings could help in tackling these conditions in toy dog breeds and could be used in breeding guidelines.

The study conducted by undergraduate student, Thomas Mitchell, from the University of Bristol’s School of Veterinary Sciences, and supervised by Dr Clare Rusbridge, is published online in the journal Canine Genetics and Epidemiology.

Syringomyelia (SM) is a painful condition in dogs and is more common in toy breeds. It involves the formation of fluid-filled cavities, known as syrinxes, in the spinal cord. This condition affects many popular toy breeds, including the CKCS and Chihuahua. In these toy breeds, SM is usually secondary to a specific malformation of the skull called Chiari-like Malformation, CM for short.


There has been debate as to whether head shape of these dogs is related to CM/SM, especially as some humans have similar characteristic facial and skull shapes, and what this may be. Identifying a head shape in dogs that is associated with these diseases would allow for selection away from these conditions and could be used to further breeding guidelines. Dogs were measured in several countries using a standardised “bony landmark” measuring system and photo analysis by trained researchers.

The researchers found two significant risk factors associated with CM/SM in the skull shape of the CKCS. These were the extent of the broadness of the top of skull relative to its length, also known as brachycephaly, and the distribution of doming of the skull. The study suggests that brachycephaly, with resulting doming towards the front of the head, is associated with CM/SM.


Thomas Mitchell said: “Dog breeders are very experienced at selecting for a certain conformation or appearance in dogs. Our findings may allow breeders to select away from the condition over fewer generations by choosing appropriate matings and offspring to continue breeding programmes. The identification of an appearance that might protect against developing the disease is a significant step forward in tackling this painful condition.

“The study also provides guidance to breed clubs, breeders and judges that have a responsibility to avoid obvious conditions or exaggerations which would be harmful in any way to the health, welfare or soundness of the breed. It will also provide vets with verified advice to provide to breeders outside the show ring and to occasional hobbyists.”

Download




Comments


No comments posted yet. Be the first to post a comment

To post comment without approval login or register

Display name

Please enter your name

Email (optional)
Comment

Please enter your comment

Post Comment

Your comment submitted successfully.Please wait for admin approval.

Some error on your process.Please try one more time.



Jobs


29 May 2015
Communications Professional (Advanced Trainee Potential)
We are seeking an advanced trainee/ experienced individual who is an effective Communications Professional. The main purpose...

29 May 2015
Area Sales Manager
De Lacy Executives client, JFC is a market leader for the manufacture and sales of plastic breeding and farm equipment. It is...

7 July 2015
Job for Harvest tractor driver, general farm worker, spraying if pa1 &2 qualified but not essential.
Harvest tractor work including grain cart, cultivations, and some potato harvest work on a progressive 1600 acre family farm ...

1 June 2015
Farmer in  Gorebridge, Scotland  is looking for a livestock General Farm Worker
Part time regular work 2/3 days a week [and full time in busy times (lambing, sowing, silage, hay, harvest)] which will invol...

15 September 2015
Job in New Zealand Agricultural Chemical Applicator >>Spray Operator >>New Zealand
To operate one of our self propelled sprayers for the application of Agrichemicals to processed, pasture and arable crops in ...



Top stories you may have missed
15 May 2015 | Arable

Scotland’s Rural Affairs Secretary Richard Lochhead is calling on the Europ...


15 May 2015 | Finance

As the country settles down following the turmoil of the general election, ...


14 May 2015 | Animal Health

New research from the Universities of Bristol and Cambridge has found that ...


13 May 2015 | Animal Health

A new publication to help farmers prevent sheep lameness and offer advice o...


12 May 2015 | Agri Safety

The Farmers’ Union of Wales is putting the spotlight on Liver fluke at next...


5 May 2015 | News

The UK is now third in the global rankings for utility-scale solar energy a...


29 April 2015 | Agri Safety

A recent Rural Watch demonstration and information event gave Farmers’ Unio...


24 April 2015 | Meat Processing

Retailers should confirm their commitments to sourcing UK lamb this season,...


15 April 2015 | Meat Processing

A leading retailer has apologised after selling imported lamb in a Borders ...


9 April 2015 | Finance

The time has come for landlords to expect to see reductions in farm rents, ...